Artificial intelligence has now become a part of our daily lives. AI for kids is especially relevant because learning about and engaging with AI gives kids the knowledge to interact with the world around them.

“Can machines think?” 

This was the question posed by British logician and computer pioneer Alan Turing. It’s the question that led to the study and theory of artificial intelligence as we know it today. It’s an especially thought-provoking question for kids to consider as their world becomes increasingly saturated with artificial intelligence. 

This article will cover an overview of AI for kids and resources kids can use to learn about artificial intelligence.

What is AI for kids?

AI for kids is how to teach kids about artificial intelligence so they can use it to their benefit.

You can explain artificial intelligence to kids as the ability for computers to learn and perform tasks like humans. Artificial intelligence is the development of computer systems to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence. This includes reading, writing, speaking, seeing, and understanding. 

Definition of artificial intelligence

More than just executing a set of steps, humans also have the capability to learn. This is what makes AI especially unique. AI learns by understanding the learning process.

Coding, machine learning, and data science are also connected to AI. Paired with the ability to consume large amounts of data, AI is able to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs, and perform human-like tasks. The process of creating artificial intelligence involves programming, training, and testing AI machines.

Coding in Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence software is created using coding languages. So, working with and understanding AI relies on a foundation of learning how to code. In our coding classes for kids, we start students in middle school and high school with coding in Python. 

Python is one of the most popular languages to code AI and its simple syntax makes it easy for kids to learn. Other languages used to code artificial intelligence systems include Java, C++, Prolog, and LISP.

Five major coding languages used in AI development

5 coding languages used in AI development

AI can also write its own code. It can be trained to write programs or translate from one programming language to another. Code generation in AI is a developing technology and while AI algorithms can generate complex and efficient code, they may not always be written in a way that is easy for humans to read and understand.

Key Components of Artificial Intelligence

Neural Networks

Neural networks are one way to train artificial intelligence. These help computers make intelligent decisions through training. It’s a method in artificial intelligence that teaches computers to process data in a way that is inspired by the human brain.

Machine Learning

Machine learning (ML) is a subfield of AI that focuses on using data and algorithms to mimic human problem-solving. It is used to produce adaptable models that can perform a variety of complex tasks.

Deep Learning

Deep Learning is a subfield of Machine Learning that involves the use of neural networks to model and solve complex problems. This field helps systems learn to identify objects and perform complex tasks using multi-layered artificial neural networks.

Natural Language Processing (NLP)

Natural language processing is the ability of a computer to understand human language as it is spoken and written. It combines computational linguistics—rule-based modeling of human language—with statistical, machine learning, and deep learning models.

Computer Vision

Computer vision enables computers to derive information from images, videos, and other inputs. It means computers can automatically recognize images and describe them accurately and efficiently.

Cognitive Computing

Cognitive computing simulates and assists human thinking and decision-making. It focuses on simulating human thought processes and generating hypotheses instead of making decisions like AI.

What are the 3 types of AI?

Branches of artificial intelligence

What are Some Examples of AI for Kids?

Kids are interacting with AI every day and probably without realizing it. AI has become a part of daily life and helps us complete a number of essential tasks.

According to Forbes, these are the most common ways people plan use artificial intelligence:

Most common way consumers plan to use AI

Here are some AI examples kids might be familiar with:

There’s also artificial intelligence being used in toys, education, and healthcare.

On the market now are smart toys that learn from children and provide an adaptive and responsive play experience. These toys can learn from and interact with the child during activities or move and perform tasks. Most AI toys focus on being able to hold natural conversations with children. 

In education, AI is being used to personalize learning. AI can guide students with personalized, immediate feedback or assistance. This helps kids move at their own pace and makes much of the learning asynchronous. As a result, kids learn better and faster with the help of AI. 

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates recently said that generative AI chatbots can teach kids to read in 18 months rather than years.

Pediatric healthcare also benefits from AI. AI can be used to interpret medical images to support diagnoses and treatments. It can also suggest proper medication dosages for kids based on more than just their body weight and interpret data to recommend more precise medications for kids.

AI is constantly developing. While AI is still evolving and admittedly has limitations, it’s the future of technology. It will be commonplace as our kids grow up and being familiar with AI will make them tech literate.

Benefits Of AI For Kids

Understanding AI can change a child’s interactions with the world around them. There are many benefits to using artificial intelligence and learning about AI for kids that includes:

Improved Education
AI can help kids learn and improve their education overall. It’s being used in learning games and educational apps. AI that helps with homework or finds the right pace for teaching your child? It’s already out there. In addition, studying AI and related topics like coding and machine learning teaches computational thinking, problem-solving, critical thinking, and more.

Recommended: 26 Reasons Learning to Code Benefits Your Child

Tech Literacy
Our kids need the ability to use, manage, and assess technology safely, effectively, and responsibly. Learning about AI can also make kids more interested in technology, and other STEM topics. Being familiar with AI also makes it feel less daunting to get involved with emerging technologies and new ideas.

Career Opportunities
There are millions of jobs projected to go unfilled without more education in STEM. These jobs will encompass those in AI. There will be many more opportunities open to students who learn coding and AI. Industries like finance and healthcare are developing and using AI to solve big problems even now. As a result, the career opportunities in AI are aplenty and your child may even hold a job that doesn’t exist today.

While there are a plethora of benefits for AI, there can also be dangers to AI for kids. For example, exposure to apps that are not made for kids. AI systems also collect a lot of personal data, so you want to discuss safe online interaction with your child. The more kids understand how AI works, the better they can protect themselves.

How Can Kids Learn About AI?

There are a lot of great ways for kids to learn about AI. Depending on your child’s age and best learning style, choose one of these ways to learn about AI.

This winter break, kids can take a special 90-minute introductory AI class for kids. It’s our best offer of the year, learn more.

AI Classes for Kids

These AI classes specifically teach kids about AI concepts, but to have a solid foundation, consider starting with coding classes for kids.

Once your child is comfortable, add or move onto an AI course. There are options for live instructors or self-paced classes.

Blue CodeWizardsHQ Logo

CodeWizardsHQ

CodeWizardsHQ is offering a 90-minute introductory AI class for kids ages 8-18. Kids complete an engaging project and train their own AI model.

outschool ai classes

Outschool
Outschool has AI class options for kids ages 6-18. Topics range from foundation knowledge to building neural networks.

udemy ai classes

Udemy
Udemy uses Scratch to teach an AI and Machine Learning class. They’ll build a chatbot and a variety of AI systems and models.

create and learn ai classes

Create & Learn
Create & Learn offers AI classes for grades 4-7 to understand what AI can and can not do, and why. Kids learn how AI works in the real world and build their own systems.


AI Tools For Kids

raise MIT artificial intelligence

RAISE AI Playground By MIT Media Lab
MIT RAISE is a new initiative to innovate learning and education with AI. In the AI Playground, kids can use Scratch to build AI projects. They also have daily AI curriculum for students and teachers.

cognimates artificial intelligence for kids

Cognimates
Uses Scratch with custom AI block extens